A year after the RNC did their autopsy on how to do a better job of reaching out to the people they demonized in the 2012 campaign, they report great progress in embracing new technology and trying to change the tone of the discussion. Which means they tried to talk a good game, but didn’t really do anything substantive.
Other than finding new ways to sell their policies and holding workshops teaching candidates to talk to women, it’s hard to discern a GOP course change on the substance. Over the last year, for instance, House Republicans have passed a variety of bills aimed at restricting legal abortion and have pushed the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare’s mandate for employers to cover birth control without co-pays in their insurance plans.
TPM checked in with the RNC on what policy recommendations congressional Republicans adopted from the report. RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski didn’t point to any, but told TPM in an email that immigration was a difficult problem, arguing that the authors of the report “weren’t prescriptive on what [reform] looks like” and that “leaders on the Hill have been working on and discussing immigration issues.” On gay rights, she pointed out that RNC Chair Reince Priebus has “discussed the need for a change in tone” over the last year.
On the conference call, RNC committeeman Henry Barbour downplayed the GOP’s stubbornness on immigration reform and touted the party’s voter outreach efforts.
“We are staffing people of color in various communities across the country to engage them and have conversations with them,” he said. “I think the RNC should be commended.”
Yeah, why change now? They won a special congressional election last week in a district in Florida that was held for generations by the GOP, so they’re good to go, right?